The history of the Mask
The origin of the Mask can be traced back to ancient and mysterious religious ceremonies. The oldest face-masks have been found in the Royal Tombs of Ur in Mesopotamia and are considered to have formed elements such ceremonies.
Every nation, albeit sometimes for different reasons and at different times of the year, has been party to the custom of the masquerade. Experts trace the appearance of the Mask to the time that Man first stepped foot on Earth, and consider it as one of the most important works of art ever created; an intellectual product of the highest evolutionary being.
Face-masks of worship which cajole evil spirits, martial masks used to terrorise their enemies, as well as funeral masks designed to expel the evil spirits on the journey to the Other World, are encountered in many historical periods in Greece, Egypt, Peru, Mexico, and Carthage. As a means of disguise the Mask was first used in Italy. In the 16th century it was unheard of for a lady of the nobility not to wear a mask when dressing up for the festivities leading up to Lent.
In Greece, the face-mask had many different uses through the ages. Funeral masks, made of gold designed to impart a desired glow to the dead king, and to cover the expressions of the frozen face. Other masks were placed in the sanctuaries of temples as tributes and offerings, while the most gruesome hang in homes and shops and served as amulets and talismans warding off the evil eye. Masks were widely used in ancient drama, evolving to take different forms: female, male, comical, even tragic.
The Mask knows no boundaries, and every nation gives it its own interpretation and uses it in accordance with its own traditions. The Mask as an accessory flourished mainly in the 14th century in the Mediterranean countries. The famous mask wearers of Rome, Florence and Venice are well known. Today no carnival can tale place without the Mask, leading to a merciless contest of creation of exceptional art and aesthetics. Silk masks in Venice, made of porcelain and hand-painted in Nice, while on Rio they sprout impressive wings.
In our country they continue to portray traditional heroes of children's fairy tales, to accompany our uniforms, or to satirize political figures.
Mardi Gras is our only chance in the year show our true self, so we should be very careful in choosing our mask.